Today I am welcoming Maison Levot as a guest contributor. Maison a midwifery and nursing student, has put together tips for you and your children when going through separation. Maison has experienced separation early in her childhood and again as a 21 year old. Over to Maison.

This is a list for the kids. A list of things not to be afraid to say to your parents during a divorce. Parents, read it, understand it. This separation is just as real for your children as it is for you.

1. I feel stuck in the middle
Whether your parents are making a conscious effort to preserve you from feeling stuck in the middle or not, it is completely normal to feel you are being pulled in two different directions. Those six simple words can open up a conversation with your parents on how they can navigate this time a little better for you. 

Parent Tip – Don’t be offended when your kids insinuate this. There is a big difference between your kid feeling torn between the two people they love the most in the world, and you manipulating them to feel a certain way. Most of the time they are only trying to keep the both of you happy, so make sure you listen.

2. Stop telling me its going to be okay

Feel free to shout this from the rooftops! Is it just me, or does every person who finds out your parents are separation come up to you, stroke you on the head and in a really fake sympathetic voice say ‘don’t worry, everything will be okay.’ You quietly say ‘thanks’ but in your head your like ‘Pffttt what do you know?!?!’  FEELS.  

You may feel like your world is crumbling, or you may feel sheer relief that your parents are separated. Whatever your emotions, fear of the unknown is a real thing. Things will get better, you will learn how to adapt to this new life of yours. 

Parent Tip – Try ‘things will get better’ ‘we will get through this as a family’ ‘Im here for you’ 

3. Are you okay? 
So, your parents are separating and all of a sudden you are seeing a side of their emotions you probably haven’t seen before. Ask them ‘are you okay?’ They will probably say ‘of course I am’; but you are allowed to be there for them too.

Parent Tip – Let’s be real. You are probably having a meltdown every day and this is totally okay. But don’t be hesitant to show your kids some emotion. Its important they learn that some days are rough, but other days are a little brighter. 

4. This makes me feel… 
Tell your parents how their actions are making you feel. This is hard, I know. But be brave. When you tell someone how you feel, i.e. that makes me feel anxious/sad/upset/angry, they cannot tell you otherwise. That particular feeling is completely relevant and personal to you, and you are entitled to feel that way. 

Parent Tip – If your child tells you they feel upset by something you have done, please accept it. Put away your bruised ego and listen to why they feel that way. Those words will hurt, but in order for your child to continue to feel safe; it is important they feel you have acknowledged and unpacked that feeling with them, not at them. 

5. Why did you get a divorce? 
Lets be honest, we all want to know the answer to that question. Don’t be afraid to ask them. You may not agree or like the answer they give you, but knowing the truth may help you understand this new world you are living in. 

Parent Tip – I know you want to protect your children from ALL the ugly parts. BUT! I can almost guarantee that your child (especially if older) is going to be spiralling a myriad of ‘what ifs’ in their mind. What if it was my fault? What if mum found someone else? What if dad moves away? Whilst there are some parts of your story they probably don’t need to know, give them a version that will put their busy mind at ease. Your experience does not need to become theirs too. 

6. No. 
It is important that you learn to say no. Unfortunately there are going to be times where your parents don’t talk to each other (insert eye rolling emoji). So guess what? The questions are going to be fired at you instead. For example, ‘Want to stay at my house this weekend?’ ‘Want to come with me instead of go to your mums?’ Now your parents are apart, their time with you becomes even more precious. It is vital that you still feel you are allowed to spend your time elsewhere and not pressured to be with them 24/7.

Parent Tip – Your kids are still kids! Yes you might not have seen them for three days but if they want to go for a milkshake with their best friend then let them! The social aspect of their life is probably the only normal/stable thing happening right now. Don’t take that away from them. 

7.  I need some space 
Its okay to ask for some space for you to max relax, away from home.   
Thanks Maison.

Please reach out on the email if you need help, I am here for you.


Maison Levot

Guest Contributor

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